Kenya Proverbs, Sayings and Popular Expressions (Page 2)

Page 2 of our collection of Kenya proverbs. With proverbs and sayings, Kenyans typically use comparisons drawn from everyday life to express some deeper meaning. Enjoy yourself browsing through my collection below.

Kenya Proverbs M-Z

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Misery loves company.

Nine is nearly ten.

No length without end.

No masika (rain season) without mosquitoes.

No one can perform a celebration by himself.

No water without waves.

turkana woman weaving, lake turkana, kenya

Turkana girl weaving, Lake Turkana
Kenya art poster - View at

Of five fingers, which is the best?

One does not throw away one's old praying mat just because of a new one that one has borrowed.

One finger does not kill a louse.

One in the woodpile does not laugh at the one in the fire.

One person is thin porridge or gruel; two or three people are a handful of stiff cooked corn meal.

One who relates with a corrupt person likewise gets corrupted.

One whose seeds have not sprouted does not give up planting.

Only a medicine man gets rich by sleeping.

Only someone else can scratch your back.

Peace is costly but it is worth the expense.

Regular work tires a woman but totally wrecks a man.

Someone relative is blood of the tongue, some you spit out and some you swallow.

Stream, it knows where to flow.

Suppression of hunger leads to death.

The abundance of fruit caused the death of the fruit lover.

The alarm from the other house does not prevent one from eating.

The big fish eats the smaller one.

The blame of the antelope is on the hunter.

The brewer dilutes the beer if over-praised.

The celebration does not last forever.

The chaser and the one who is chased get tired.

The curse of the fowl does not bother the eagle.

The devil turns against its friend.

The eye is a coward.

The eyes of the in-law belittle what they have seen.

The fire burns the fire maker.

The fool hides what would eat him.

The hen pecks and wipes its beak.

The man may be the head of the home; the wife is the heart.

The mouth wronged the walker.

The one chased away with a club comes back, but the one chased away with kihooto [reason] does not.

The one who has been attacked by a buffalo, is afraid when he sees a black cow.

The one who is praised, comes forth to chant.

The possessor may become dispossessed.

The rat does not help the other rat to peel a piece of maize.

The stick in the hand kills the snake.

The strength of a hero does not centre on his buttocks.

The thing that kills someone is small.

Those who arrive to the spring first, drink the purest water.

Three can keep a secret when two died.

Two guests cannot be entertained satisfactorily at the same time.

Water never flows up the mountain.

We add wisdom to knowledge.

We have not inherited this land from our ancestors; rather we have borrowed it from our children.

We should put out fire while it is still small.

What bites you is in your clothes.

When he hangs himself down like a bat, he definitely knows how he would float through the air.

When the lion cannot find meat, it eats grass.

When the rock is not around, the small stone sits there.

When you mention the person with one eye, the one with the eye problem reacts.

When you spread it in the sun, it becomes dry.

Who thinks to stay should take care not to fall.

Who walks slowly will also reach the aim.

You cannot take away someone's luck.

You don’t teach a grown up monkey how to climb a tree.

You only make a bridge where there is a river.

You should never forget your neighbour when you invite people to come to the feast.

You suffer from smoke produced by the firewood you fetched yourself.

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